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Connacht Tribune

Minister lashes opening hours for new €10m primary care centre

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A Government Minister has lashed out over the limited opening hours at a €10 million primary care centre in Tuam.

Minister Sean Canney said that the fact that the centre closes at lunchtime on Saturdays and doesn’t open at all on a Sunday was ridiculous – and he said it should be rectified without delay, given the amount of money spent on the facility in the first place.

The Primary Care Centre in Tuam serves a population of over 20,000 people and the services provided include public health nurses, community general nurses, a physiotherapist, dieticians and occupational therapists and they will work in conjunction with local GPs.

There is also a new midwife facility there, dental services while the centre will also accommodate around 10,000 x-rays each year – eliminating trips to Galway city for such a service – while it is also the base for the out-of-hours GP service Westdoc.

But Minister Canney says that the HSE West has to renegotiate the contracts with the Primary Care Centre operators in order to rectify the current situation without delay.

“We have a ridiculous situation whereby Tuam Primary Care Centre closes at Saturday lunchtime and does not open on Sundays,” he said.

“Patients cannot be expected to time their medical needs to suit the facilities management of the centre. The Primary Care Centres were supposed to take pressure off the hospitals.

“This an even more acute issue for my constituents while we wait on plans for the new A&E at University Hospital Galway and the new 50-bed unit at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, to be expedited.

“The Primary Care Centre operators are dictating when these facilities open and close. Their operation should be patient-driven.

“The HSE nationally, which signed the contracts, needs to get back in charge and do so as a matter of urgency. It is not fair on the local HSE management who are having to deal with this situation.

“Too much public money has been invested in these centres. It is the public that should be determining when the centres open, not private companies.

“This affects Primary Care Centres nationally. The HSE should intervene to ensure that our services follow the needs of patients and not the administration of buildings,” Minister Canney added.

Tuam Primary Care Centre opened for services in December 2017. The 2,500sqm facility was part of a 14-project Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme to provide Primary Care Centres around Ireland.

Minister Simon Harris was on site to open the facility and it was stated that it would be a ‘one stop shop’ for medical services in the town.

Apart from the Primary Care Centre, the immediate area is the location for the ambulance base, while there are also plans to provide a new mental health centre and a 50-bed community nursing home.

Connacht Tribune

Clifden break new ground with a five-star final show

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Clifden's Gearoid King, who has Michael O'Toole in support, breaking out of defence against St Ronan's of Roscommon during Saturday's Connacht Club Junior Football Final at Hyde Park. Photos: Bernie O'Farrell.

Clifden 1-16

St Ronan’s 0-10

John McIntyre at Hyde Park

A lot can change in one year. Just ask the mould-breaking Clifden junior Gaelic footballers for confirmation.

In the space of 12 months, Galway’s most westerly Gaelic football bastion has gone from fighting relegation to being crowned Connacht champions.

It’s some turnaround in fortunes by any standards, and Clifden are not finished yet with an All-Ireland Club semi-final to look forward to in early January.

Having taken out highly-rated Islandeady of Mayo in the semi-final, suddenly the burden of favouritism for provincial glory fell on Clifden’s shoulders, but they made light of this new-found status at Hyde Park on Saturday.

Coming up against St Ronan’s of Roscommon – a club which was fighting for survival itself just five years ago – in the Connacht final, a progressive Clifden outfit carried too much firepower and quality for opponents who are based close to the Sligo border.

Having suffered defeat in the club’s two previous provincial final appearances – in 2006 and 2015 – Clifden were determined to make it third-time lucky and the fact their supporters rarely had cause for concern underlines how much they were in control.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

An Spidéal raise their game after being hit by black card

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Kinvara full forward Joshua O’Connor is challenged by Liam Ó Fatharta and Eoin Ó Conghaile of An Spidéal during Saturday's County U19 B Football Final at Tuam Stadium. Photos: Iain McDonald.

An Spidéal 1-10

Kinvara 1-6

Eanna O’Reilly at Tuam Stadium

AN Spidéal claimed the county under 19 B football title on Saturday following an entertaining contest with North board winners Kinvara at Tuam Stadium.

The Connemara side were deserving winners on the day as they played the superior football for long spells. Nevertheless, they were well tested by a hard working Kinvara side, who produced a strong third quarter performance and took the lead in the 43rd minute.

An Spidéal weathered the storm however, to take control of the contest in the final quarter, scoring the final five points of the game to deservedly take the title.They displayed a greater ability to generate scores from play, which made all the difference in the end. An Spidéal’s tallied 1-6 from open play, while Kinvara were held to 0-3 by comparison.

Both sides deserve credit for serving up an entertaining spectacle in tricky conditions at Tuam Stadium. Kinvara played against the wind in the opening half but made a bright start when Oisín Ivers pointed from the right corner.

An Spidéal replied with their first score, which proved to be a major one. A strong run from Liam Ó Conghaile saw him break through Kinvara’s defence before firing a shot to the bottom corner past Shaun Philips.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Country Living

A glimpse back to darker days when we turned on each other

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A photo taken in happier pre-civil war times on October 27, 1921, at the wedding of Kevin O’Higgins (centre) to Birdie Cole (centre front). O’Higgins is flanked to his right by Eamon de Valera and on his left by Rory O’Connor, the latter to be executed just over a year later on the orders of O’Higgins. Photo: Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland.

Country Living with Francis Farragher

One of my regrets in childhood and younger life was that I never really got to know my ageing father. There was a rural way of life back through the 20th century where older farmers tended to marry younger women, one of the consequences being that by the time the youngest of the children had reached teenage years, their father would have slipped into old age.

It wasn’t all bad though and as a child, I’d hear first-hand stories of what times were like during The Troubles from the War of Independence through to the Civil War. My father wouldn’t always talk about it that often, but here and there, he’d mention tales of hiding behind walls when they’d hear the sound of Crossley Tenders – lightweight lorries which carried parties of Black-and-Tans across the country to ‘put manners’ on the restless natives.

Tales of guns and ambushes were quite frightening but also somewhat alluring yarns for a young lad of 11 or 12 summers as here and there, my father would mention that what followed on after the hated Black-and-Tans was even worse. He would recount tales from the Civil War and how even the closest of families were torn apart, depending on whether they were pro-Treaty or not.

He would point to a spot on a field where IRA members fired shots at the Free State-controlled railway station in Ballyglunin, or maybe a house where two brothers fought on opposite sides during the Civil War. As years passed, and elderly parents moved on, talks of the Tans and the Treaty faded, but of late with the 100th anniversary of so many awful events in 1922 now being recalled, curiosity again took hold.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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